Epic’s latest shooter has finally been released in all of its violent and vulgar glory. Bulletstorm features the Dead Echo squad in a quest for revenge against someone that was using them. The main characters that you will see throughout your adventure are Grayson Hunt, Ishi Sato and Trishka Novak. You’ll assume the role of Grayson Hunt as you set out, not only on your quest for revenge, but for personal redemption as well. Bulletstorm is all about the different ways you can go about killing your opponent while hurling obscenities at them. This review won’t contain any of those obscenities as it wouldn’t be appropriate, however, some of them are quite funny and the over the top, cheesy dialogue is definitely one of the highlights.
Bulletstorm is a game that celebrates how insanely over the top it is. If you are looking for a no nonense, serious shooter than this game isn’t for you. Anyone who has played the Gears of War titles will be instantly familiar with the majority of the mechanics. One of the big differences between the two franchises is that Gears is a third person shooter while you play Bulletstorm from the first person perspective. Early on in the game you will acquire a leash that will be one of the main weapons you will use in the game. Utilizing your leash you will take care of obstacles in your way and also pull enemies closer to you so that you can eliminate them easier. There are many ways to eliminate your enemy in Bulletstorm and figuring out all of the different methods is part of the fun. If there was a cactus around I would always pull the enemy towards me and then kick them into that cactus which would impale them. If they were too far away I would run forward and slide and then kick them into it when I was within range. You will also find quite a lot of explosives as you go through the game and one of my favorite tactics was kicking an explosive barrel into the middle of a group of enemies and then shooting it and taking everyone out at the same time. The environment will allow for a lot of creative kills and you will also have a few different weapons as well that will help aid you in your quest to “kill with skill.” My favorite weapon to use was definitely the “Head Hunter.” This is a semi-automatic, high powered rifle built for long range sniping. What I really enjoyed about this sniper rifle is that after I fired it I could control the bullet itself so that it would hit the enemy right where I want to. There were times when this definitely helped out a lot, especially on enemies where I needed to hit them in a specific spot to do any damage. Each weapon has their “normal” shot and then there is your “charge” shot. Your “charge” shot will wreak more havoc and cause more damage. For example, with the Head Hunter weapon, your charged shot will grab the target and then steer them into other enemies or environmental hazards before detonation. As you progress in the game you will come across dropkits. You utilize these kits to purchase upgrades and ammo for your weapons. When you are near one the game will alert you so that you don’t miss it which I thought was a great idea.
Once you are done with the story you can check out the Echoes mode. In Echoes mode you go through short segments of a level and try to rack up the highest score possible. Once you have done that your score goes on the leaderboard and you can see how you rank against your friends. If you prefer something different you have the Anarchy mode. If you have played the Horde mode in Gears of War 2 than you know what to expect here. For those who haven’t played it, Anarchy mode is where you play online with three of your friends and you defeat enemies in waves. As you progress through the rounds each wave of enemies gets progressively harder. Epic put a special twist on it for Bulletstorm where simply taking out your opposition is not good enough to advance to the next round. You have to kill all of the enemies and look good doing it to advance. When you start a round you are told the amount of points that you will need to get before you can advance. If you need to get 2,000 points but only have 1,500 after dispensing with your enemies you will need to do that round over again. You are also given optional objectives to complete where you will need to work with your teammates. There might be an objective such as having two people shoot the same enemy at the same time or perform another move in tandem. If you want to be successful this will force you to work together. People who have the “lone wolf” mentality will be a hindrance to the rest of their team.
As you progress through the game you will notice that Bulletstorm looks pretty impressive. I absolutely loved the scenery in this game and there were some instances where I would simply stop and pan the camera around to admire the world that People Can Fly and Epic have created. The vistas can be breathtaking as you emerge from an underground cave and you see a giant city in the background. The water effects were done really well and the game ran smoothly. There were no frame rate problems or anything of that nature which is always good to see. There were a couple of times where my A.I. partner would run in front of me at inopportune moments, however, those were few and far between. I enjoyed the overall story and I would love to see it continue. Once you beat this game be sure to stick around and watch the credits. Once the credits are over something else takes place which hints at the possibility of a sequel. That is obviously dependent on how well this title does but I definitely wouldn’t mind a return trip to this universe.
Bulletstorm is completely over the top in both violence and vulgarity. If you haven’t figured it out by now this is not a game your kids should be playing. I personally played the game wearing headphones so that no one around me would be offended by the comments throughout the game. For those who picked up the “Epic Edition” on Xbox 360 you will also get to participate in the Gears of War 3 beta this Spring. The “kill with skill” gimmick was a refreshing one for a first person shooter market full of “me too” titles. Figuring out how to creatively kill your opponent takes out some of the boredom some people might face with some other shooters. If you are a fan of this genre at all then you definitely need to give this game at try. If you take this game too seriously you are not going to enjoy it. You need to go into it with an open mind and a sense of humor. Simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network